Reviewed by Molly Remer, MSW, ICCE, CCCE
Co-authored by a pair of long-time friends, the “poemic” book Home/Birth reads as if you are eavesdropping on a lengthy, juicy, engaging, thought-provoking conversation about homebirth, birth in America, maternity care, and feminism. The book has a lyric, narrative, stream of consciousness format linked together with segments of poetry.
The text does not differentiate between the two speakers/writers, though through the “call and response,” back-and-forth exchange between the two authors, you quickly begin to recognize two distinct voices (as well as other fragments from birth books, bumper stickers, midwives, etc.).
The book was written during Arielle’s second pregnancy, which ends in the stillbirth of her baby boy. Arielle had one prior homebirth and one subsequent homebirth. Rachel had two hospital births and a homebirth prior to the writing of the book.
While the style in which it is written takes some time to get used to, once you tune in to its rhythm, Home/Birth is a unique and fascinating journey. Because it is so distinctive, I find it difficult to describe in writing—you need to make sure to read it for yourself!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.